The Department for Education (DfE) has today announced an extension to the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) beyond its original end date of March 2020. The DfE has taken the unusual step of making this commitment before the annual Government Spending Review, which will take place in the Autumn. 

The ASF funds therapeutic support for families whose children left care through adoption or special guardianship arrangements. These children are likely to have experienced severe trauma prior to coming into care and need therapeutic support to help them thrive.

Responding to the announcement, Adoption UK Chief Executive Dr Sue Armstrong Brown said: ‘Extending the Fund has thrown a lifeline to families bringing up some of the most vulnerable children in England.’

Support that is agreed and begins in the financial year 2019/20 is guaranteed. From July 2019, support will be delivered over nine months rather than the usual twelve. This arrangement will be in place until the outcome of the Spending Review, and its impact on the future of the ASF, are known.

The extension follows an announcement last month that ASF spending has delivering £100 million worth of support for more than 30,000 adoptive families in England since its introduction in 2015.

Dr Sue Armstrong Brown added: “Many families will be mightily relieved about the reprieve to the ASF. But there’s no doubt that anxieties will persist until the Government makes a long term commitment to supporting adoptive families. We will continue to work with adopters to make the case for the help their children deserve.’

The Department for Education has compiled a Q & A which you can download here: ASF Transitionary Funding FAQ